Govt seeks review of COAS service extension verdict.

 
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Byline: SHAHID RAO

ISLAMABAD -- The federal government on Thursday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its judgment wherein it had asked the parliament to legislate on the appointment/extension of army chief.

The government prayed to the court to set aside the verdict.

Attorney General Anwar Mansoor filed the petition on behalf of the government. The petition, copy of which is available with The Nation, lists the federal government through Secretary Defence, Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Arif Alvi and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa as petitioners, and reads: 'This Honourable Court may please grant leave to appeal and set aside the Impugned Judgment after allowing the Petition.'

The petition questions the legal aspects of the judgment and adopted, 'The Impugned Judgment is bad in law and facts. The same is completely without jurisdiction, void ab initio and of no legal effect.'

It points out that if a gap is filled through legal or constitutional conventions, customs, usages or departmental practices, the court cannot insist on converting such conventions into Acts of Parliament.

The petition adds that if the parliament, in the last seven decades or so, has consciously chosen, with open eyes, not to legislate in a particular sphere and let the issue/matter be governed through conventions or practices/customs/usages, this is a sufficient indicator that the Parliament i.e. the chosen representatives of the people, has exercised its choice not to legislate. Equally, there is nothing in constitutional jurisprudence which provides that where a constitution is written, no gaps or vacuums could be filled through conventions and that all conventions need to be converted into codified law.

'It is a settled principle of law that even where on facts and law a case is made out, the court would not grant relief where the granting of such relief fosters or perpetuates injustice and gives rise to a situation which is adverse to the public interest and the collective conscience of the state and the society,' says the petition.

It further reads 'The enemies of Pakistan were extremely happy when they thought that General Bajwa's extension or reappointment had fallen into jeopardy. Pakistan is undergoing a 5th generation war. Very recently, the Pulwama incident bears testimony to the preparedness of our Armed Forces under the able captaincy of General Bajwa, who on his proactive initiative has also mustered healthy military...

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